the light fantastic

vague ramblings re: early british lit

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Fantomina

The fact that Fantomina is written by a woman and shows feminist tendencies is a good indication why Norton had not previously included it in its anthology. While not saying that Norton is sexist, the oddity of having such a strong female protagonist among the many other religious poems and heroic couplets about love would have ruined the general theme of any section in the anthology.

It is a very important addition to selection because, as in prompt 1, it shows the developing novel form as well as the different view point of a woman. There isn't a clear moral within the story, nor is there a clear antithesis as there would be in satires either. The story is written for entertainment purposes with intent to cause reflection upon whatever facet of life the author wished. After reading Fantomina, the loveless ending for the main protagonist as well as the gullibility and weakness (to his passions) of Beauplaisir, it is clear that this isn't a satire against either gender; both have their strengths and weakness. There is no moral behind it either, as the only 'punishment' for his infidelity and her overwhelming curiosity is a child and not something earthshattering.

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